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High rates of Coeliac Disease in Fibromyalgia with IBS
Monday 30 December 2013
High Rates of Celiac Disease in Fibromyalgia with IBS
Fibromyalgia and IBS are extremely common comorbidities. Out of 104 participants with both conditions, researchers found that seven of them, or 6.7%, tested positive for celiac disease even though they hadn't been previously diagnosed.
That percentage may not seem terribly high. However, a recent study to gauge the prevalence of celiac in the U.S. population found it to occur in 0.71%. That number is similar to findings in other countries. That means those of us with fibromyalgia and IBS are nine times more likely to have celiac.
Researchers didn't find the same prevalence in those with just IBS. Previous research on the overlap between fibromyalgia and celiac has been inconclusive, so this association may be unique to those with fibromayglia/IBS.
About Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is often referred to as a "gluten allergy," but it's actually not an allergy in biological terms. Instead, it's an autoimmune reaction, meaning that the immune system has mistakenly identified it as a threat, similar to a virus or bacteria. It then sends immune cells to destroy the intestinal lining that has absorbed gluten during digestion.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat and many other grains. It's also used as a food additive in a wide variety of products, making it difficult to avoid. At this point, the only treatment for Celiac disease is a gluten-free diet.
Celiac disease causes an array of intestinal symptoms including pain that can linger for a few months after gluten is discontinued, because of the time it takes the damage to heal. Long term, poorly managed Celiac can lead to lymphoma due to the constant damage of the intestinal lining.
If you have fibromyalgia and IBS, you may want to ask your doctor about being tested for Celiac disease, especially if your intestinal symptoms are hard to control or if you've noticed that gluten-containing foods are problematic. However, it's important to note that some cases of Celiac disease have no symptoms at all.
Do you have all three of these illnesses? Do you suspect you have Celiac disease? If you've gone gluten free, how has it impacted you? Leave your comments here!
The above originally appeared here.
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